Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Japanese Roasted Vegetable and Wild Rice Salad with Miso-Apple-Wasabi Glaze

Since I returned from the Middle East, I've been living off of my local farmers' market. I love the sights and sounds of farmers talking excitedly and knowledgeably about their colorful and juicy wares and shoppers exchanging recipes as they buy. I've been bringing a friend along, who informs me yesterday that she has been a vegetarian all fall since I've introduced her to our local veggies. I guess my enthusiasm for fresh produce is contagious!

Last week I cooked up all the fresh produce left in my fridge -- white and purple eggplants, green peppers, divine giant shiitake mushrooms -- and brought it to 2 Rosh HaShanah dinners and a lunch, satisfying two very happy familes and at least one very discriminating 7-year-old.

This recipe draws heavily from Mollie Katzen's "Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Mushrooms with Miso-Apple-Wasabi Glaze" from The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without. This recipe is very flexible -- try the glaze with whatever veggies you have on hand, or with tofu, seitan, or tempeh. The glaze will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to a week. Wild rice is high in protein and fiber, and a great source of potassium, phospohorus, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.

Serves: 8 (easily halved or multiplied)
Time: 45-60 minutes (plus rice-cooking time. Be aware that most time is spent chopping veggies, so add or substitute accordingly.)


2 C wild rice
1 C brown rice
1T EVOO or butter/margarine

2 large or 3 medium eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 3/4" half-rounds or quarter-rounds (depending on the size of the eggplants), salted with kosher or sea salt, and set aside.
4 large shiitake or portobello mushrooms, cut into 1" pieces
2 green peppers, cut into 1" chunks
canola or peanut oil

1 clove garlic
1/2 t fresh ginger
1/2 t prepared wasabi
4T white miso
4T apple juice

Soy Vinaigrette:
1-1.5T good soy sauce (shoyu)
1/2" knob fresh ginger, sliced
1 large clove garlic
3 T rice or cider vinegar
1 T toasted sesame oil
1/2 C minus 1 T neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola. EVOO will also work in a pinch.
salt and pepper to taste

1) Cook the rice with oil/butter/margarine and a sprinkling of salt, according to brown rice package directions or preferably in a rice cooker.
2) Preheat broiler, arranging rack about 4" below heat. Line a baking tray with foil and spritz with oil or cooking spray.
3) Whisk glaze ingredients (or whir in a blender or food processor) until smooth.
4) Rinse eggplant and pat dry. Arrange eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, and/or other veggies on prepared tray. Sprinkle/spray lightly with oil and salt.
5) Broil until eggplant is golden brown, ~3-4 minutes. Watch carefully so eggplant doesn't burn. Turn veggies and broil another 3-4 minutes. Eggplant should be dark golden brown and soft.
6) Turn veggies again and brush with glaze. Broil 2-3 minutes more. Glaze should bubble a bit and have a few golden brown spots.
7) In-between trips to the oven, make the soy vinaigrette for the rice salad. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender until emulsified.
8) Toss soy vinaigrette with rice. Add veggies and toss again.
9) Serve hot or at room temperature, with extra glaze, freshly ground black pepper, or alone in its delicious and fragrant solitude.

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